Review: Scam 1992

  by Rinku Gupta

Streaming now on Sony Liv, Scam 1992 The Harshad Mehta Story is easily amongst the most gripping and interesting shows on the OTT platform.  

Produced by Applause Entertainment and directed by Hansal Mehta the 10 episode web- series is based on the book by journalist Sucheta Dalal who traced the rise and fall of the ambitious stockbroker and financial wizard Harshad Mehta, who rose to fame in the 90's. 

Tracing the story would be a spoiler  so we wont get into the details.

Many factors make this web-series a not- to- be missed experience. For one,  the way the events are narrated, even those who are unfamiliar with the  workings of the stock market, will understand what's going on.

Another strong point is the emotional connect with each character,  which keeps you strongly invested in the story from start to finish. 

This is also largely possible due to the excellent casting by Mukesh Chhabra. Be it the lead artists, or supporting cast, right up to every jobber, office boy, journalist, officers or bank staff, every actor fits beautifully into his or her role.  

Though it's  a period setting of the last 2 decades, at no point are the sets or locations distracting. Instead they seem to just blend in, adding a delightful touch of nostalgia of bygone times when people used landlines, and traffic snarls were virtually non- existant!

The setting of  the 80's and 90's  is so realistically brought out, that the city of Mumbai, the Stock Exchange and its surroundings, become characters. 

The BGM is another factor that adds to the cinematic experience and the old Hindi numbers used cleverly, give an inkling into the story.

The crisp dialogues, several punch lines and sprinkling of Gujarati language inbetween, are well used to create maximum impact.

Above all,  the gem of a performance of the lead actor Pratik Gandhi as Harshad Mehta, is just exemplary. A Gujarati theatre and film actor,   Pratik has lived the role of Harshad and brought him to life.  His subtle expressions, the look in his eyes and his body language, as he goes through the ups and downs of life leave a lasting impression. The role covers an age span from youth to middle age and Pratik handles every change with the ease of a mature artist. The role and his performance is sure to get him a new and loyal fan following. Social media is already buzzing with huge appreciation for him. 

Pratik is ably supported by Shreya Dhanwanthary as journalist Sucheta Dalal. Her natural, earnest performance brings the story to life and lends it greater credibility. Specially interesting are her scenes with Pratik Gandhi and it's a delight to watch the duo perform. 

The rest of the superb cast includes Hemant Kher who plays Harshad's  brother Ashwin, Chirag Vora as Bhatt, Anjali Barot who plays Harshad's  wife, Satish Kaushik, Rajesh Jais, Faisal Rashid, Nikhil Dwivedi, Rajat Kapoor, Vivek Vaswani, Anant Mahadevan, Mamik Singh, KK Raina, Paresh Ganatra, Kavin Dave, Shadaab Khan and a host of others.

Scam 1992 takes you through a roller coaster of financial events,  but in an emotionally charged way, showcasing the human side of its characters, subtly delving into aspects of why people did what they did, which changed the course of thousands of lives. And therein lies its strength.

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